This article discusses the preparations and precautions you need to exercise while taking your diabetic dog for a hike.
According to Vetsulin, diabetes affects one in 300 dogs, and if your canine friend is suffering from it, you already know how important it is to keep your dog on a daily schedule.
But how do you ensure that your pet gets the exercise they need while maintaining their blood sugar levels? Hiking with your dog can be an excellent way to get both of you outside and moving.
However, there are some things you should know before hitting the trails with your furry friend. In this article, we’ll discuss whether or not it's safe to hike with your canine companion when they have diabetes and what precautions should be taken when doing so.
What to Do Before Your Hike
In research by Statista, it was found that 59 million people in the US participated in at least one hiking activity in 2021. This popular outdoor activity has seen a growth of 80.4% since 2010.
When preparing for your hike, there are a few things you should do:
Check your dog’s feet and paws. If they are cracked or bleeding, it is best to stay off trails until they heal.
Check your dog’s overall health. Make sure they don’t have a fever and that their heart rate and breathing seem normal.
Check the weather forecast before leaving on any lengthy hikes with your dog. If rain is in the forecast, take extra precautions to keep them dry, such as bringing along an umbrella.
Be sure that both you and your pet are properly hydrated by drinking plenty of water before setting out on a trip. Dehydration can be dangerous for humans and animals alike.
In fact, as per the National Library of Medicine (NIH), dehydration is a frequent cause of hospitalization. It has been reported in 17 to 28% of older adults.
What to Bring On Your Hike
It's important to bring the right items with you on your hike. The following is a list of items that will help keep your diabetic canine companion happy and healthy:
Water - You'll want to bring plenty of water for both of you. If you're hiking in a hot climate, make sure that whatever container you use is easily accessible from your dog's mouth. Collapsible dog bowls would work well here.
Snacks - Your dog may feel hungry while hiking, so it's good to have something small and healthy on your hands, such as jerky treats or dried fruit strips.
First Aid Kit - Don't forget about bringing along any necessary pet medications like insulin for dogs and furosemide for dogs. If possible, store these in an emergency kit separate from the rest of your gear, so they don't get damaged if you need them immediately during an emergency.
What to Do on Your Hike
When you're hiking with your diabetic dog, remember to take frequent breaks. This will give your pooch a chance to rest and recuperate before moving on. Also, make sure he's drinking enough water. It's easy to forget when you're having fun.
If he gets tired, thirsty, or starts limping, stop walking immediately so that he can have some water.
If your dog starts showing signs of heat stroke or hypothermia (such as panting excessively), head back down the trail until they feel better. If they show signs of dehydration (such as drinking lots of water without urinating), bring them home immediately so their body temperature can return to normal levels and the kidneys can begin processing fluids again.
Check for blisters and cuts on their paws. If those get infected, it could be dangerous for both parties involved in this adventure.
When to Stop Hiking
There are several reasons you might need to stop hiking with your diabetic dog.
The first is if your dog is having problems with its feet or legs. If it seems like it's putting extra effort into walking, limping, or favoring one side over another. If you're concerned about this, check out the paws: Are they red and swollen? Do they look hot to the touch? This could be a sign that things aren't right.
The second reason concerns heart health. If your dog has any kind of irregular heartbeat or other signs of heart disease, such as difficulty breathing, hiking may not be safe for them until these things are managed properly.
Finally, if weather conditions don't seem safe for both people and dogs, examples include icy ground conditions and heavy rain, then it's probably best to stay indoors instead of risking hypothermia or other injuries from slipping on ice.
In conclusion, it’s safe to hike with your diabetic dog as long as you take the right precautions. You can carry hill's science diet dog food for a high-carb diet and milk bone dog biscuits or other treats on your hike. Also, stop hiking if they start showing signs of weakness.
We hope this article has been helpful for anyone who wants to know more about hiking with their dog.